Mini food walk in Sowcarpet

I hope you are aware of my history with food walks. Somewhat made it to the Mylapore food walk. Had to skip the ones that happened in Purasaiwalkam and Besant Nagar. This time the Sowcarpet was scheduled on a Saturday at 5 pm. I set things straight and made myself free for the walk. If everything goes well, it is not nice rite? Got struck with a personal work which got dragged till 5pm. When I came back home after roaming under the scorching sun for more than 5 hours, I was exhausted. I was oscillating between "To go or not to go" and the love for food won the battle this time too. When I started from home it was 5.50 pm. Reached Mehtas, the starting point at 6.30 pm after battling my way through the heavy traffic. Skipped couple of places and started with Mehta Bros Mitaiwala for the vada pav

Mehtas Bros Mithaiwala :

Was crowded and managed to get a vada pav. Priced at 20 bucks, the vada was hot and spicy and easily one of the best vada pav I've had so far. The red chutney smeared inside the pav along with the heat from the crispy vada was an awesome combination.



Novelty Tea house :

My next stop was this place. I recently had an amazing lunch here. Got a tawa pulao and pav bhaji as a takeaway. Folks at home had it for dinner and they loved it to the core. The bhaji was super yumm and very tasty.

Meena Mithai Mandir :

Just peeked in to check what they got to offer. They have a decent collection of savouries. Packed some sev, mixture, cheese balls and boondhi. Everything tasted good.

Kakada Ramprasad :

My shopping for dry fruits and nuts, once in every two months never ends with badam milk from kakada or the lassi from anmol. This time had their famous aloo tikki chat. It was too good. With crispy aloo tikkis drowned in creamy and fresh curd with the chutneys and crunchy veggies and sev it was heaven in a plate. Unfortunately, the jalebis I packed was not that good as they used to be. They left a bitter after taste which was very weird. Paid 70 bucks for aloo tikki and 480 for a kg of jalebi.



Anmol Lassi :

Heaven in a glass is the best I can come up with for this kesar lassi. Thick, fresh, creamy and yummy lassi with the flavour of kesar is simply divine. Priced at 70 bucks for half a glass is absolutely worth the money.

On the way to chotu motu sprained my leg and had to leave half heartedly :(

With the map and other details from Mr.Sridhar, hoping to do a walk on my own with friends soon. Keeping fingers crossed.

P.S : The write up is based on personal experience only.

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Novelty Tea House - Mylapore

Novelty Tea House at Sowcarpet was in my wishlist for a very long time. Last month, after shopping, me and my friend dropped here for lunch. We ordered a sweet lassi, salt lassi, aloo paratha and a tawa pulao. Every thing was wonderful. Especially the tawa pulao. It was damn spicy and flavourful. Long grains of rice with crunchy veggies it was kickass.

I was raving about the tawa pulao to my husband and he couldn't withstand my torture and finally agreed to try the outlet in Mylapore. We went on a Thrusday and the restaurant was closed. Talk about signs huh !!! Again we tried it for a Saturday dinner. Waited for a 30 minutes to get a table. Was damn hungry and decided to jump in with the same orders from the Sowcarpet outlet. Along with that we also ordered a garlic naan, methi mutter malai and a cheese masala pav bhaji and paneer tikka. First came the paneer tikka. It was well marinated but the paneer wasn't soft enough. The lassi was too too sour, I sent it back. The ones that came as replacement were sour too. And not chill either. I couldn't take it further so I just left the lassi after couple of sips. The pav bhaji was just so so. The Pav was too oily and soggy and bhaji was way too salty, even without mixing up the cheese.





The garlic naan was spot on. Soft with good amount of garlic sprinkled over, went well with the methi mutter malai. My husband being a sucker for this methi dish, enjoyed it thoroughly. He even said it was "THE BEST" in Chennai. Now that coming from him means that it is out of the world :) The biggest disappointment was the tawa pulao. I gave so much of build up for this and all came down like a house of cards. The pulao was not even hot, barely warm, not spicy at all, no flavour nothing. My husband gave me a look "Idhukka ivlo build up kudutha" and I felt like a fool :( The aloo paratha wasn't that great. With thick, uncooked dough at the ends of the paratha half of it went waste.





Service was pretty quick and after the initial complaint on the lassi, they were pretty hesitant to come to my table :O Paid 1400 bucks for all these, which I feel is not worth the money. From mow on stick on to the original outlet and never try the new ones..

Place        : Novelty Tea House
Location    : Radhakrishnan Salai, Mylapore (Near Nilgiris)
Cuisine     : Veg only, North Indian predominantly
Cost         : Meal for 2 should come around 1000-1200 bucks

P.S : The write up is based on personal experience only.

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Idli + Sambhar = Ratna Cafe

Idli have many accompaniments. But nothing tastes better than idlis drenched/drowned in aromatic sambar. And when I picture this combo, I get the image of sambar being poured out of a mug on the idlis at Ratna Cafe. Think of idli & sambar, think of Ratna cafe. I've had food here umpteen times. Couple of weeks before, had severe craving for sambhar idli. Considering the distance in mind and some other petty reasons landed up in Saravana Bhavan, the decision I've been regretting since then. I calmed the screaming soul by promising it "Whatever happens, next week Ratna cafe porom. Idliya Sambhar-la kulachu adikkarom". I'm a person who keeps up her promise you know. Well at least when it comes to food ;) Gobbled up two plates of idlis and 4 mugs of sambhar (Yep I drank most of it :) ), with a sambhar vadai, podi dosai and half of a rava dosai. Apart from idli sambar, I like their podi dosai a lot. With generous amount of spicy and gritty podi smeared over a crispy dosai is absolutely yummy.


Abishekam

Neivedhyam

Swaha !!!
A plate of idlis (2 nos) with unlimited sambar costs 54 bucks. For that sambhar I don't mind paying this amount.




All these cost us 400 odd bucks which is absolute VFM given the taste and service.

Place             : Ratna Cafe
Location         : Triplicane
Cuisine          : South Indian - Pure vegetarian
Cost              : Easy on the pockets. Will cost around 250-300 for two people approximately

P.S : The write up is based on personal experience only.

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Svadishta - Taste of Kumbakonam in Chennai !!!

What should good food do to you? Leave you satisfied. Make you happy? To me it brings back a lot of good memories and my dear ones who showered me their love with their awesome food and who are not with me now. Very rarely I come across such situations remembering the good old days. My mom had three elder sisters. Each one of them were experts in cooking. While the eldest one made amazing sukku kulambu and milagu rasam, the next one was famous for her vathal kulambu and pickles. The last one is the sole reason for me hunting for XXL garments. Every summer holidays, she used to feed me like there is no tomorrow. 10-15 years back when I was in 8th or 9th grade I can easily eat 8-9 dosais with her tomato kothsu or chutney. Be it the cashew murukku, thirattipal, home made ghee (I still get the ghee from her. And my son refuses to take anyother ghee) everything she makes is utterly delicious.

I got reminded of them when I had food from Svadishta. It all started when my neighbour, who is a hard core non-vegetarian was all in praise of veg food. That too tambrahm food. Intrigued by her praise, got the number from her and didn't get a chance to order from them for a long time. One fine day, after coming back home from a trip, realised that I had an empty pantry to pack lunch next day. Exactly at that time, I received the message of next day's menu from them (They add your number to the watsapp group where they share the next day's menu for you to plan). The menu read appalapoo vathakuzhambu, milagu & veppampoo rasam, cabbage kootu and cluster beans paruppu usili. I thought why not try them for tmrw and placed my order. Mr. Prabhu Raam who runs the show along with his mother in law Ms. Kala called me up to explain the process. You can have two options. Either take the meal for single person that comes with rice, curd, appalam & pickle or you can have all things except rice, curd, appalam & pickle which will easily serve two normal eaters. I chose the second option and wanted my food by 11am so that I could pack for my husband.

Food arrived piping hot, neatly packed. Taste was really too good. The vathal kulambu in which the appalam is dipped was lovely. Mix it in hot rice, one handful of that along with the paruppu usili and next handful with the kootu is simply divine. Both, pepper rasam and veppampoo (neem flower) rasam were top notch. I drank them separately :) The beauty of the food is that, you can immediately realise the authentic taste of it. For vathakulambu I could get the smell of gingelly oil. For kootu you get a whiff of coconut oil and so on.








After a week or so again ordered a combo of "Pathiya samyal". The concept is the food is cooked with lots of spices/herbs with medicinal values, which heals the body and soul. Spices like athimathuram or thippili or sukku used in the cooking process. I had the paruppu thuvaiyal (lentil chutney), karuveppillai milagu kuzhambu (curry leaves & pepper gravy), thippili rasam and snake-gourd kootu along with sutta appalam. What a delectable combination it was. The paruppu thuvaiyal with loads of pepper went very well with the kootu. The thippili rasam was simply divine. A lunch like this on a day when you take oil bath is heavelny. And that too the 1-2 hrs sleep you get after the lunch is much more heavenly :P And the best part is the neatly packed pappad. It retained its shape and crunch even after an hour of delivery.




Karuveppilai Milagu Kuzhambu

Thippili Rasam



They also serve variety rice every day at a cost of Rs.50. I tried their puliyodharai. It was good but have had better ones. I felt the dhaniya/corriander seeds were overpowering a little bit.




The menu they provide everyday is very unique and the combination of dishes compliments each other very well. Simple homely stuff and nothing fancy. Atleast once in a week they have this pathiya samayal menu. And some day it's the village speciality. Quantity is enough for two normal eaters. And for the price its absolute value for money.

Right now they are only doing home delivery and are available to the folks in Adyar, Besant Nagar and Thiruvanmiyur alone for free of cost. Other than that they coverr upto Neelangarai in ECR, Thoraipakkam in OMR, Velachery, R.A.Puram and Mylapore for a cost of Rs.30 for delivery. They are having trial runs for dinner and Special sappadu/raja bhojanam on Sundays. Svadishta is available on 9962884623 or 9176315120.

Place              : Svadishta
Location          : Operating on delivery basis. Adyar, Besant Nagar and Thiruvanmiyur are the areas covered
Cost                : A meal for two is 160 with rice and 120 without rice

P.S : The write up is based on personal experience only

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Merry with Peri - A food bloggers meet at Nandos, Chennai

There was this time when Nandos, started in Chennai, fellow foodies were like, "What ??!! You still haven't visited this place?". Couple of years ago, I was taking baby steps in eating non-vegetarian and have started eating chicken alone. Folks at home, were herbivores at that time. So the ultimate effort of dragging them here was failing high time. One fine day, everything was in my favour and we decided to dine here before catching up a movie. Alas, we misread the movie timing and couldn't dine there. I just quickly packed my order and had it much later. I didn't even remember how it tasted. After launching the second outlet, I was thinking of trying it out as everyone at home now eats chicken (Hail the trainer :P ) When I was invited for a food bloggers meet to try out the new additions to the menu, I happily agreed.

Went there for lunch on a weekday. The place is split into two levels. Ground floor along with kitchen and much more spacious upstairs. The place is beautifully done with paintings, details/history of peri peri, wooden floors and quirky coloured furnitures. The whole place has a earthy feeling which is very pleasing.

We started off with pita bread with roasted red bell pepper dip, olives and hummus. We were given peri-peri drizzle, which is new addition in the menu. The drizzle is a peri-peri flavoured oil and it had that hot taste and aroma packed. It was presented in a cute little bottle. I mixed it with the hummus and it was deliciously hot. The pita bread was perfectly toasted and tasted fresh. The best I've had in recent times. The red pepper dip on the other hand was tangy and hot with unique taste. Went well with the pita and the fries.


The wings we had was super juicy and well marinated. I found it to be a tad bit salty but was okay after dipping it in mild peri peri sauce. I also had a couple of mocktails. The Citrus Bliss was kind of too sweet for my liking and the Refresh Mint was all minty and refreshing.




I started off with the mild peri peri sauce which was perfect in heat for me. I tried the hot peri peri too. I though I could handle it in the beginning. But I prefer sticking up with the mild sauce until I get acquainted with the heat of peri peri :) We tried a lot of dishes for main course which included the burgers, pita and wraps. Out of all I tried the chicken wrap which had the juicy strips of chicken with chilli jam and yoghurt sauce. It was delicious with generous amount of chicken and was perfectly spiced. I felt the wrap could've been toasted a bit more. The other wrap I tried was the roasted veggie wrap. Yes you read it right. I did have the veggie one :P I was so intrigued when the manager was explaining the things thrown into this wrap. It has couscous with feta cheese, brinjal and hummus with roasted pepper dip. It was light and super delicious. Felt the Mediterranean touch because of the hummus and the brinjal. I was so stuffed by this time, so had bites of things here and there.


Nandoca's Burger

Chicken Wrap



Roasted Veggies




Roasted veggie wrap
Shambhavi Mishra - Marketing Manager from Nandos Banglore & Snehithi Jambulingam Marketing Manger of Nandos Chennai played the perfect host. Along with their manager, patiently explained the new addition to the menu. Nandos uses supreme meat and marinates with the sauces for 24hrs and the meat is flame grilled and never deep fried. We also learned a lot about operations/values/uniqueness/product quality and much more from them. We were given a tour of the kitchen and it was well organised and super clean. The lovely noon came to an end with some goodies from team Nandos.

Place          : Nandos
Location     : Cathedral Road, Gopalapuram
Cuisine       : Portugese cuisine, veg & non-veg, flame grilled chicken marinated with peri peri sauce is their speciality
Cost          : Since this was bloggers meet couldn't talk about that. Looking at the menu, I guess a meal for two should come around 1000-1200 bucks

P.S : The write up is based on personal experience only

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Cafe Xtasi

Pizzas, pizzas and more pizzas. Checking out Tantos for pizzas while driving back to Chennai is one thing. One can get more or less equally good pizzas here inside the town at Cafe Xtasi. Have had pizzas as take aways 3-4 times here. During my last visit to Puduchery, kiddo was in mood for pizzas and we decided to dine here.

Located in Mission Street opposite to VOC school, this place is very small and welcomes one with the wood fired oven at the entrance. The pizzas are prepared and baked at the entrance. This time for a change I thought of having a pasta and a pizza. Got a veggie pasta and a Beacon pizza (small size). The pasta had loads of corn, capsicum and olives along with spinach, onions and mushroom in red sauce. It was tangy and yummy to bits. The penne was cooked al-dente and was coated well with red sauce.





The Beacon pizza was simply yumm. Thin crust pizza with bacon, chicken, egg, jalapenos and onions it can't get more meatier :) And the egg cracked on top added the oomph factor to the pizza. With cheese and egg yolks melting in your mouth with crunchy bacon and juicy chicken it was simply yumm. I found it to be a little bit less spicy. After sprinkling some chilli flakes it was good. I got a small size pizza, but it will definitely suffice two normal eaters.









They evven do humongous pizzas which can be had by a group of 7-8 ppl. I paid a total of 560 bucks including taxes which I feel is absolutely value for money given the taste and quantity.

Place          : Cafe Xtasi
Location     : Mission Street, Puduchery
Cuisine      : Italian. Woodfire pizzas & pastas veg & non veg
Cost          : A meal for 2 would cost 700 bucks approximately

P.S : The write up is based on personal experience only.

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